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Is happiness on sale?

With Christmas lights shining in different cities, the pressure to fulfill the perfect gift list for our loved ones increases, as does anxiety.

Our minds are occupied with questions like:

"Will I be able to buy all the gifts?"


"Is this the best gift I can find?"

The holiday season is typically associated with happiness, fulfillment, love, gatherings, and celebrations. However, many people experience stress during this time due to factors such as tiredness, unrealistic expectations, excessive consumerism, anxiety, financial constraints, and being unable to be with loved ones. From trying to find the perfect gift to worrying about the details, it can be difficult to fully enjoy the sense of peace and contentment that the holiday season can bring.

Giving gifts is a well-known way to express love, affection, and appreciation for others. Gifts can serve as a tangible symbol of our feelings for someone, and the process of thoughtfully choosing the right gift can be just as important as the act of giving itself. This consideration and reflection can deepen the connection and understanding between the giver and the recipient.

The pressure to find the perfect gift, combined with the influence of marketing campaigns and holiday traditions, can make the search for the right gift a competitive and stressful endeavor - "how to show, in only one annual moment, that I love these people through the right gift?".

Additionally, the busyness of the holiday season can lead to feelings of exhaustion and anxiety as people try to juggle all of their responsibilities and financial obligations, from shopping to attending or hosting parties.

It is important to consider that compulsive buying is often used as a maladaptive strategy to regulate emotions. During this festive season, it is common for this symptom to exacerbate, as well as other associated mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders). Compulsive shopping becomes an automatic and primary strategy to cope with negative events, as there is a feeling of immediate relief at the time of purchase. However, this feeling of relief lasts for a short time - in the long term, compulsive buying is associated with the maintenance and increase of existing suffering. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you know, it may be helpful to seek professional psychological help.

Remember that taking care of yourself is the most important and lasting gift you can give yourself. Here are some tips for maintaining your well-being during the holiday season:

  • Maintain your usual routines. This includes taking care of your physical health through nourishment and exercise, and getting enough sleep.

  • Connect with your emotions. It's okay to feel a range of emotions, even negative ones, during the holidays. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions in a healthy way. If your emotions are overwhelming, remember that you are not alone and seek help if needed.

  • Plan and set a budget. Before going shopping, make a list and plan out your spending to help reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Know your limits and needs. Prioritize your own time and self-care, and make sure to relax and enjoy the true meaning of the holiday season. Choosing strategic times to go to crowded places like markets and malls can help reduce pressure, and taking breaks to focus on the present moment can help you stay grounded.

During the holiday season, it's important to be aware of the potential risks to our mental health and well-being.

Excessive worry about finding the perfect gift can be relieved by accepting that we can't control how others will feel when they receive our gifts. Finding comfort in our intention can help reduce stress and anxiety. Prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, and focusing on what's most important to us can help us maintain our mental health during this busy time - this may include physical exercise, meditation, dedicating a few minutes to breathe, reading a book, preparing a hot bath or a cup of tea, and allowing yourself to say “no” to certain events because you don’t have the time or energy to fulfil them.

Remember to take care of yourself and those you love, and may this season be filled with love, contentment, and tranquility.

Merry Christmas!

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